Stephanie Sounds is certainly no stranger to the music community. Having performed as a backing vocalist for big names such as Celine Dion, Will Young and Florence and The Machine. The British songstress has now branched out and released her first album.
New single ‘Hiding Away’ (released 17th August) embodies the fusion of Reggaeton and Afrobeats to create a bold yet humbling sound. It features multi-talented producer and composer Rick Leon James, who has worked alongside huge artists such as Tinie Tempah and Wretch 32.
Upon the first listen I am encapsulated by the assertive chanting of the strong female vocalist as she repeats the catchy phrase “You can’t find me/You can’t hurt me/I’m hiding away”. I immediately feel a sense of late 90’s girl-power shining through. However, as I continue to absorb the lyrics, I quickly theorise this song is something rather more vulnerable. Yet, as the song goes on I begin to believe she is showing strength; as suggested by her clear and powerful vocals.
As I approach the middle of the song I find myself situated in a sudden outburst of the emotional imperatives: “Stop calling me/Stop shaming me” against the basic, yet effective, plucking of the guitar. It is at this moment I can truly feel the Reggaeton/Afrobeat fusion; the overlapping of Latin American-esque guitar and drums aligning perfectly with the female harmonies singing in unison.
As the single begins to fade, the plucking of the guitar becomes more subtle as the song comes to a gentle end. I feel calm, yet entranced by the music I have just been caught up in.
‘Hiding Away’ is an example of fresh young female talent. It has already been adapted into two separate remixes by Dj Uwney and Victizzle, respectively. I imagine this single (plus remixes) in a club-night environment. I feel enticed to dance, as I am sure will be the case with many others.
Alongside releasing her first album Stephanie has used her musical talent to influence her side projects; namely her career as an up-and-coming fashion designer at ‘SO London Boutique’.
Stephanie Sounds has worked hard to create a sound that is available to all demographics to enjoy. I think many will agree.
Her debut album ‘Much Better’ is out now.
Words Chloe Winfield
(Photo from Stephanie’s Twitter, all credits)